Morris Convicted in murder of 13-year-old
BUFFALO, NY - A State Supreme Court jury found Darshawn Morris, 21, guilty Friday on all counts in the murder of 13-year-old Lanasha Rollerson.
The Buffalo man was on trial for murder, rape and committing a criminal sexual act. Rollerson was stabbed more than 60 times.
During the trial, Morris testified that it was his cousin who killed the teen. He admitted to having sex with her and then attempting to dismember her body after the murder. The teen's body was found in a garage behind his Morris' Hagen Street apartment last September.
Morris' family claims police tampered with evidence.
Rollerson was at the home for a party. When she never returned home, her family reported her as missing. A few days later her body was discovered.
Morris could face 37 years to life when he's sentenced on April 17. His lawyers plan to appeal. When asked about their client's reaction to the verdict, attorney Emily Trott said he felt "deep sadness."
Rollerson's mother issued a statement indicating that she is pleased with the verdict and is keeping the mother of the man now convicted of killing her daughter in prayer.
Prosecutor James Bargnesi called this trial horrific. "No case is a slam dunk, especially in this day of the television era where people come in with raised expectations of what trials are like. In this case we had to convince the jury not only that this defendant did it, but then in addition to that, that the version he was giving was not true," said the prosecutor.